Six Italian Tomato Sauces

Six Italian Sauces That use Tomatoes

Alessandro Clemente

Six Authentic Italian Tomato Sauces 

If you are looking for authentic Italian sauce recipes, you've come to the right place. Whether it is the recipes for old fashioned Italian spaghetti sauce, Italian grandma tomato sauce or tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes, we've got you covered.



1. Authentic Italian Sauce (vegetarian friendly)

According to "A Family Feast", this Italian Tomato Sauce recipe (for full recipe) is a passed down from generation to generation recipe. This particular recipe involves a lot of simmering down; so the sauce will stay on the stove for a while.

This delicious recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, oregano, basil, mint, sugar, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, butter and of course: tomatoes (fresh or canned tomatoes).

As I write this and read their amazing recipe, my mouth is watering. 



2. Italian All Vodka:

Next let’s jump to an Authentic Italian Vodka Sauce Recipe. We came across Katya’s website: Little Broken and just had to share this beautiful recipe.

Vodka sauce is mainly found in dishes such as “penne all vodka” - a delicious pasta dish made with creamy Italian vodka sauce. It’s basically a tomato based sauce that is beautifully combined with heavy cream. It usually includes red peppers to give it that sensual zing!

Katya's recipe includes: extra virgin olive oil, sweet onions, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes and of course, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, half and half, Parmesan cheese, penne pasta, vodka, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and of course our beloved tomatoes (fresh and peeled or bottled tomatoes).

What we love about this particular recipe is that it appeals to that part of us that craves comfort - it’s soothing; maybe because of the sensual, creamy nature of it!



3. Puttanesca sauce:

First of all, NO! We are not cussing at you! It sounds kind of dirty, right? But in a very delicious way! Makinze Gore shares with us how this ‘scandalous sauce’ has made such an amazing impression throughout history.

Why is it called “puttanesca”? Well, apparently some say that it originated in the brothels of some Spanish Quarters (puttana means ‘whore’ in Italian); while others say it originated in Naples, Italy in the mid 20th century.

What makes it so special is possibly the fact that it is made with black olives, capers and usually anchovies to give it that extra bold flavor.

For Makinze’s pasta puttanesca, you’re going to need: extra virgin olive oil, our faithful garlic, Kalamata or black olives, capers, crushed red peppers, kosher salt, Italian anchovies, spaghetti, parsley, parmesan and it would not be complete without: tomatoes (freshly diced or you could use this tomato sauce).



4. All'Amatriciana 

Alla matriciana or Sugo all'amatriciana is a delicious traditional Italian tomato sauce made for pasta that has a marriage of spicy black pepper, dried chillies, Guanciale (cured Italian meat - usually pork jowl or cheeks) or pancetta (cured pork belly), pecorino cheese, onions and then there’s the precious: San Marzano tomatoes!

According to Great Italian Chefs, all'Amatriciana originates from the mountainous regions of Italy. Apparently, the san Marzano tomatoes in this dish have less seeds in them, making for a tastier sauce. 

We love how easily they have laid out this famous Italian sauce recipe for us. You’re going to need: guanciale or pancetta, onions, red chili, white wine, extra virgin olive oil (of course this is a staple), bucatini pasta, pecorino Romano, basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste of of course tomatoes. For more information, click on “Easy Bucatini all'Amatriciana Recipe”.

5. Arrabiata sauce:

What is the difference between this sauce and marinara sauce? Arrabiata means “angry” in Italian.

This sauce is made with red Chile peppers added to the tomato sauce, while marinara is just the tomato sauce without the hot peppers. So, naturally peppers make one hotter. Hence, the “angry” or we prefer “spicy or impassioned” feelings.




We love Natasha’s “Easy Pasta Arrabiata Recipe”. She uses a lot of Italian olive oil, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, Mutti brand chopped tomatoes and paired with penne pasta.

6. Marinara Sauce:

This list wouldn’t be complete with a mention of authentic marinara sauce.

Firstly, why is it called “marinara”? Apparently it dates back to 1692 in Naples or Sicily. It’s a basic red sauce made from tomatoes, sautéed garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs: usually basil and oregano.

It comes from the word “marinai” - referring to Italian sailors who were stuck on their sailing vessels for long periods of time. This sauce became a staple for them; since it was easy to make yet very tasty. It was introduced into Italian-American cuisine in the 20th century, when Italian immigrants came to the U.S.



Now it has so many purposes: not only for adding to your pasta, but for dipping mozzarella sticks or garlic bread and so many other uses.

Check out Kate’s rendition: Simple Marinara Sauce Recipe. She uses pretty much the same ingredients that are in all the various sauces mentioned above: Onions, garlic, oregano, olive oil and as she puts it “good canned tomatoes”. You could always substitute for fresh tomatoes.



Well, that is your quick lesson in learning about Italian tomato sauces. We hope you have enjoyed reading. Check out our secret Italian recipe page on Facebook. We are giving away some cool free gifts.

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